Monday, January 2, 2023


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Installation view of Soundsuits on Tower Level 5: What It Shall Be

Being both black and queer inspires 'Forothermore,' Nick Cave's current exhibit at the Guggenheim. The nomenclature tributes the marginalized--"an ode to those who, whether due to racism, homophobia, or other forms of bigotry, live their lives as the 'other,' and a celebration of the way art, music, fashion and performance can help us envision a more just future," declares the artist. Subtly tucked within the three tower galleries on Floors 2,4 and 5, the 30-year retrospective of Nick Cave's creative practice are aptly themed 'What It Was,' 'What It Is,' and 'What it Shall Be.' Keep reading for a look inside...

Penny Catcher (2009) on Tower Level 2: What it Was

Originating at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Guggenheim brings Nick Cave's art to NYC, where coverage of racially motivated violence has magnified over the last several years. A spirited exploration of past, present and future, the art reveals its significance through found materials, overt and subtle symbolism and a progressively positive narrative. The first gallery,What it Was, gives a glimpse inside Nick Cave's familial heritage and some of the foundational history for the social activism in his art. "You see all of this work that no-one will ever connect me to because everyone knows me as Soundsuits, that being the body of work. But there's all of this work that came before that," declares Cave. Though the general theme portrayed in this section is 'struggle,' Cave wants to emphasizes beauty in the face of struggle.

Arm Peace (2018) on Tower Level 4: What it Is

What it Is addresses concepts of oppression, loss, mourning and remembrance, alongside joy and collective celebration. The piece "Sea Sick" is a highlight in the section as it illustrates the concept of moving forward in the midst of trauma.

What it Shall Be highlights Cave's most recent--and most well known-- projects, Soundsuits and Tondo. The first soundsuit was created in 1991 following the brutal beating of Rodney King. Masking the identity and body of the wearer, the suits protect the wearer from the gaze of those who persecute. These pieces are made of found items and the sounds made when the wearer is moving, likens a protest.

Overall, a worthwhile jaunt, especially if you take the time to dive deeper into explanations. Nick Cave: Forothermore remains on view at the Guggenheim until April 10, 2023.

ASMR: Hustle Coat (2021)

Rescue (2013)

Time and Again (2000)

Soundsuits Installation view

[L] Soundsuit (2022), [M] Soundsuit (2015), [R] Soundsuit 8:46 (2021)

[L] Soundsuit (2013),  [R] Soundsuit (2016)

More Soundsuits!

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